Crossing the Red Line: Of Malawi ‘Prince of liars’ and Speaker’s ruling on Chakwera

A word that has been said may be unsaid; it is but air. But when a deed is done, it cannot be undone, nor can our thoughts reach out to all the mischiefs that may follow.-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow-An America Poet and Educator

Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly Richard Msowoya should indeed be applauded for taking a very bold decision ruling out of order his ‘boss’ (in the Malawi Congress Party) Lazarus Chakwera for calling President Arthur Peter Mutharika ‘a Prince of Thieves’ and so many other ‘befitting’ names for the type of leader that our President has become. Going by the history books of this country, this is a first to have a speech by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, responding to a President’s opening address of the National Assembly, be ruled out of order.

Interestingly, Msowoya and Chakwera belongs to the same camp and I am 100 percent convinced that they share similar beliefs, ideologies and even sentiments over how this country is being ruled. Chakwera might not have shared notes with his deputy in the MCP when crafting such a biting address, but I am certain that in one way or the other and on countless occasions they have shared notes on their common concerns on the state of affairs of this nation.

Now, what should we make of this ruling from our Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly and the second in command in the MCP?

One thing worthy noting is that, at his first attempt to rule Chakwera out of order, following an outcry from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), his own men-the Clerks in the House-thought otherwise and advised that there was nothing wrong with Chakwera calling the President what he really is. In fact, it has to take more than five days of consultations and the Speaker reading again and again the speech for him to make the decision.

Following such a ‘rigorous’ and ‘thorough’ decision making process from the Honourable Speaker, the most important question which even Msowoya himself will never attempt to answer is whether the decision to rule Chakwera out of order was indeed made because he insulted the Head of State or as said in Parliamentary circles, the said words reflected on the person of the President, or that the decision was just a necessary political evil.

Unless and until an answer to this question is found I would hasten to say that I would be a bit skeptical to wholeheartedly applaud the Right Honourable Speaker’s ruling. And I would advise the ruling DPP and all its followers (cadets included) to also desist from spending all their energies clapping hands and applaud the Speaker who most of us have become to know as a very shrewd political animal of our times.

DPP should tread on this one with caution. I think the best the ruling party could do is reflect and do a soul searching to see why the Leader of Opposition has to throw all caution to the wind and come out such bluntly against the Head of State. The ruling party has to also take time to analyze the speech from the Leader of People’s Party in the House Ralph Mhonie and see how identical the sentiments are. The only difference in the two speeches is the level of subtlety and not diplomacy. While Chakwera chose to be forthright, Mhonie tried to be subtle in his delivery of the speech probably to make Mutharika and his men believe that the Presidency still has a little respect left. Let us all bear in mind that respect is always gained and no amount of make-believe will translate to actual respect that people have on an individual. If you don’t believe me, just go on different social media platforms and make your own judgment on what this means. It is clear that just like Chakwera connoted in his speech, Mutharika has lost all the respect among most Malawians. This is no longer a secret and no amount of bleaching can clean up this.

I entirely agree with Chakwera (and I believe that this is also the position shared by many well-meaning Malawians) when he called on his fellow Parliamentarians tospeak as men and women who love their country more than their camps; to speak as men and women who serve their People more than their Parties; to speak as men and women who fear the Maker more than the Ministers. Chakwera went on  to call on all the MPs to speak boldly and truthfully, even at the risk of being branded enemies of the state, and even at the risk of being maligned by a misguided mob of mercenaries masquerading as cadets. Kudos to Chakwera that he did not only make such a candid call but he lived up to it by calling a spade what it really is.

After trying everything else, it is clear that, minus what the Military has done in Zimbabwe, this seems the only practical approach left to us as a country to move away from the mediocrity and senselessness that has become of our government.

Now, the DPP could have been applauding Chakwera for showing them the path away from this self-destruction mode, instead of verifying him and clapping hands for Msowoya’s smokescreen. For DPP, there is a friend in Chakwera who is ready to point out without fear where the government is goofing and where it is supposed to work on to improve things. If you have been following him (and the sentiments of most Malawians), there are just a few areas that Mutharika can work on and regain respect (this is if at all in the first place he had that respect). All what Malawians are asking for is for Mutharika to be a responsible and competent leader who can show that he is capable of taking full charge of Government affairs; he should show that he cares for the less privileged; let him push more on the many corruption cases and ongoing investigations; and the President should show that he has vision and wishes everything good for this country instead of busy making his pockets and those of his cronies fatter.

I would not want to dwell much on what the Speaker did say or did not say in his ruling and even on his thinking to make such a decision. However, it was interesting that Msowoya, ironically though, also appealed to legislators to be exemplary and desist from un-parliamentary utterances that would cheapen the quality of parliamentary debates. To me, indeed Parliament could be exemplary and desist from some of these utterances but it all goes down to Mutharika himself. The President has to be exemplary himself and desist from actions that cheapens the quality of his leadership and would force others to throw slurs and insults at him.

What Mutharika should know and understand is that he can be saved of such slurs, insults and derogatory remarks only in Parliament. The President should know and understand that if these avoidable blackouts and the 25 hours electricity load-shedding continue, no kind words will come from anyone just to please him and the tamers. Mutharika should be aware that as much as hundreds of our mothers and their newly born babies continue dying in hospitals due to avoidable and treatable maternal complications which are only aggravated due to lack of resources including power, while he and his men continue mercilessly looting our resources, these slurs, insults and derogatory remarks will still be there. If our President continues being passive and clueless as a leader, these slurs, insults and derogatory remarks will not come from Parliament but other fora and platforms where he and his henchmen have no say and control.

To be honest, though seemingly brutal in his attack, Chakwera on the other hand was a bit mild and diplomatic as he dwelled much on the incompetence, insensitiveness and thieving part of our Head of State and his DPP Government and left a salient side of the President as a person. To me, Chakwera was actually ‘out of order’ for forgetting to mention it and put it in the Parliamentary records that Mutharika is not only incompetent, insensitive and ‘a Prince of Thieves’ presiding over the most corrupt administration and a kleptocracy, but also ‘a Prince of Liars’ whose appetite for lying has become so insatiable that no single day could pass without our Dear President coming up with one ‘blue’ lie.

Just imagine this recent lie when Mutharika said in three years, he has built ten major roads across the country as opposed to others who built one road in 31 years. I really don’t know where all of these ‘major’ roads which Mutharika has built are or it is just a figment of his illusions, however, as someone, has rightly said that if it was an ordinary person telling such a lie, the nation would have believed that such a person is always speaking under the influence of either alcohol or Indian hemp. Probably, we are all wrong in our thinking, some Presidents do really partake such drugs. Or we might be correct to add to Chakwera’s insults and slurs that we have ‘a Prince of Liars’ as a Head of State. Sad and embarrassing.

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Nyoko
Guest

Every good terminology for peter , am just happy with that and the additions… Usurely mutharika is the *Chief thief* in DPP …

Mbewe
Guest

The whole issue is here is that lying has been going one somewhere up the ranks. But then we only need to be taught how to define such people in such circumstances. But in its entirety Chakwera spoke the truth. There was some lying somewhere by the president. Now, even if you dwell on what Chakwera said…over 90% of Malawians are aware that the president lied. That’s it!

Martin Kawonga
Guest
I support those that are against calling names to the head of state. and I support the speaker 100% on the ruling against the leader of opposition . The honorable leader of opposition knows very well that leaders are appointed by God. The honorable leader of opposition himself as a teacher of God’s word for a long time before he joined politics is aware of this fact. Let us refrain from calling names our leaders instead let us go into our bedrooms close the doors behind us and cry to God to give our leaders wisdom to rule our country… Read more »
kaitano
Guest

Mmmmm when did we started calling Prince as a name? these are not names please eish koma abale, we have Prince, Princes, Kings, Queens these are titles from Loyal Families please! or may be am wrong.
Prince is a SON from the Loyal Family, Princes is a daughter,King is a male chief while Queen is a female chief, bwanji pamenepo? ena apitilize kulongosola.
So Dr Chakwera said Prince of Thieves, which means the son of thieves period! kikkkkkkkkkk! did he lied?

Longani pyanu
Guest

Then you are a son of darkness who prefers lies over truth my brother. Chakwera referred to the president exactly what he is.

gaga
Guest

mwina a Chakwera analawitsa kunena kuti Prince of thieves koma akananena kuti KING of thieves popeza Peter ndi mtsogoleri wa dziko lathu

mbuyafive
Guest
I do not support derogative words when we are doing official business. The leader of the opposition went beyond normancy in his speech. However, I believe this is a demonstration of his anger on the continued levels of corruption in the country. I do nt regret the words. I want him to know that he will get the same if one day he becomes the president of this country, a job he is actully crying for. It was a good politcal gimmick to rule out of order the unparliementary words. The fact is our president is either sleeping on his… Read more »
Inkatha
Guest

What a nice piece of writing! Keep it up bro

Omex70
Guest

Good one.

chimanga
Guest

A speaker adya sikono. Do not forget that the speaker also bought one of our tractors…… ali ndi mantha

Kaitano
Guest
Many people choose not understand others, this is what i said to one of my friend here. This politics we have here in Malawi is very different ndi maiko ena like go to Botswana and see the way how they conduct their daily business concerning their loved country, you will see kuti pali gap yaikulu kwambiri and Honorable Msowoya akudziwa zimenezi he was once there. The definition of Prince of Thieves has taken some one a week to find it, why not acted when it was still hot? To me what Honorable Msowoya has done shows just to cool the… Read more »
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